15 Surprising Facts About Billionaire Bill Gates
What are the first three things that come to your mind when you hear the name ‘Bill Gates’?
1. He’s the richest man in the world with a net worth of $79 billion.
2. He is the co-founder of Microsoft, the world’s largest and most successful PC software company.
3. He is the world’s most prolific humanitarian who donates generously through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Besides his philanthropic efforts and online presence, there are a lot of things about Gates that you probably didn’t know. While there are many unknown facts about Gates, we bring to you the top 15 surprising facts about him:
1. Born as William Henry Gates III, Bill’s nickname as a child was “Trey,” reflective of The Third” following his moniker, as he was the fourth consecutive Gates man of the same name.
2. Gates wrote his first computer program on a General Electric computer as a young teenager at Lakeside Prep School. It was a version of tic-tac-toe, where you could play against the computer.
3. Once his school discovered Gates’ coding abilities, they let him write the school’s computer program for scheduling students in classes. Apparently, he slyly altered the code so that he would get placed in classes with mostly female students.
4. Gates scored a 1590 out of 1600 on his SATs.
5. Gates, Paul Allen and Paul Gilbert launched a company while Gates and Allen were still students at Lakeside School in Seattle. Their Traf-O-Data 8008 computer was designed to read data from roadside traffic counters and create reports for traffic engineers.
6. Gates was a college dropout. He left Harvard University in 1975 to fully devote himself to Microsoft.
7. Gates was arrested in New Mexico in 1977, for jumping a red-light and driving without a licence.
8. Bill Gates aimed to become a millionaire by the age of 30. However, he became a billionaire at 31.
9. At Microsoft, Gates used to memorize employees’ license plates to keep tabs on their comings and goings. “Eventually I had to loosen up, as the company got to a reasonable size,” he said.
10. In 1994, he was asked by a TV interviewer if he could jump over a chair from a standing position. Gates promptly took the challenge and leapt over the chair like a boss.
11. One of Gates’ biggest splurges was the Codex Leicester, a collection of writings by Leonardo da Vinci. He acquired it at a 1994 auction for $30.8 million.
12. He flew coach until 1997, even though his net worth was already well into the double-digit billions.
13. Despite his immense wealth, Gates doesn’t believe in leaving children a ton of money as inheritance; his three kids (daughters Jennifer and Phoebe and son Rory) will inherit only $10 million each — just a fraction of his $81.1 billion net worth. “Leaving kids massive amounts of money is not a favor to them,” he says.
14. Gates says that if Microsoft hadn’t worked out, he probably would’ve been a researcher for artificial intelligence.
15. Gates doesn’t know any foreign languages, which he says is his biggest regret in life so far.